Yoga or Yoga Therapy Can Help You Live Free of Anxiety
Yoga and yoga therapy help people living with anxiety. In fact, you can live anxiety free by practicing yoga on your own or participating in yoga therapy. Sometimes, in trying to beat anxiety, we go after our anxiety symptoms. After all, the symptoms are how we experience anxiety in our thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and actions. Taking actions to reduce the symptoms of anxiety can be quite helpful; however, it can be incomplete. Growing research is demonstrating that treatments that address the whole person, beyond just symptoms, can lead to a new anxiety-free life. Yoga and yoga therapy are holistic approaches to anxiety and overall wellbeing.
Yoga and yoga therapy offer similar benefits to your mental health and ability to live free from anxiety. Let's explore yoga, yoga therapy, and the way the benefit anxiety.
Yoga and Yoga Therapy for Anxiety
Yoga unites body, mind, and spirit to create balance and flow. It's physical, using a variety of movements to increase blood flow and the flow of energy in the body. It strengthens people mentally and physically.
You can do yoga in the privacy of your own home using video guidance. Alternately, you can go to a gym or yoga studio and participate in group classes. Many different types of yoga exist, and any of them can help you rid yourself of anxiety as you create a lifestyle centered on wellbeing. No single type is better or worse for anxiety and general mental health. Personal preference and your physical health will guide you in choosing a specific type of yoga.
Yoga at home or in a studio does increase mental health and wellbeing. When you are specifically targeting a problem like anxiety, though, more formal yoga therapy might be in order.
Yoga therapy is lead by a certified yoga therapist listed with the International Association of Yoga Therapists.1 Like standard yoga, it unites mind and body. Yoga therapy involves slow, deep breathing, physical postures, and meditation. Therapists lead both group and individual sessions, placing people in one or the other according to what's best for them. By honoring where you are right now, yoga therapy respects your feelings of anxiety and works with them, not against them.
Yoga's Benefits for Anxiety
Therapeutic yoga is structured to intentionally develop awareness and acceptance of anxiety in order to end the fight with it. Further, it hones a sense of calm and increases adaptability to stress and adversity to minimize anxious reactions.
In The Ultimate Guide to Yoga Therapy,1 ThriveTalk captures the essence of this type of yoga very well:
As human beings, most of us are aware of our flaws, imperfections, and limits. Yoga therapy induces the power and energy to overcome them and transcend the human condition.
Through a yoga practice, in therapy or in our homes or in a studio, we can work with the oneness of mind and body to break free from anxiety. Yoga benefits anxiety in multiple ways:
- Deep breathing increases blood flow to the brain and calms the nervous system.
- Mindfulness pulls us out of anxious thinking and into what the body is doing in the moment.
- It heals our stress-response systems and decreases anxiety.2
- When done consistently, the positive effects of yoga become long-term and a way of life.
Practicing yoga can bring both short- and long-term benefits, including eliminating anxiety and improving your life.
(Note: If you'd like to try yoga or yoga therapy, it's a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure it's the right fit for your body.)
NCC, T. (2018, November 15). Yoga or Yoga Therapy Can Help You Live Free of Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2018/11/yoga-or-yoga-therapy-can-help-you-live-free-of-anxiety
Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC
Thank you! We agree as usual. the mind and body are indeed one (Deepak Chopra calls in the bodymind). My morning yoga ritual has become very important and makes a tremendous difference in my entire day -- and in how I feel mentally and physically. Thanks for your insights for readers and for myself. :)